“The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.” -Pema Chödrön
For centuries people have turned to meditation when they seek comfort and tranquility in their lives. To turn their attention from the cumbersome difficulties that lay in a living being’s path, they switch to rumination. Although the earlier history of meditation is confined within the boundaries of religion, like the ones mentioned in Hindu Holy Book Vedas or that existed in the Taoist (China) and Buddhist (India and other parts of Asia).
The Eastern Christians meditated by repeating Holy Prayers which were thought to be influenced by the Muslim Sufi Saints of India. However the Western Christians were more influenced towards reading the Holy Bible for meditation.
In the more modern times, however, there has been a shift from the traditional meditation- based on spiritual growth, to emphasis on stress reduction, relaxation, self-improvement and mindfulness. The word meditation is used to assign a variety of practices that differ enough from one another which lead to the anomaly of defining the word mediation properly.
But more or less they point towards a similar direction that is; to think, contemplate, devise, and ponder and this is precisely what Mindfulness Meditation is all about.
According to the teaching of the Buddha, on the course of enlightenment, mindfulness holds an important place. It is a spiritual ability that is required in the seven factors of enlightenment. Even in the earlier Hindu scriptures, mindfulness meditation can be traced back.
Basically, mindfulness is an awareness of the present moment. It lets you to completely focus on simple sensation like the breeze in the atmosphere, to the realization of much more complex interaction between our beliefs and feelings.
Channeling our psychological procedure, we are able to recognize that our thoughts are just mere assumptions that we develop ourselves which does not essentially represent the truth that affects our mind. Once we takeover this process we can control our decisions based on a better judgment and understanding.
Another very important factor that mindfulness is based on, is the importance of ‘here and now’. With so much depression and anxiety that surrounds us and also blistering pace of the evolution of our world, a person is too concerned with how to keep up. But in steps mindfulness, it lets us take in the beauty of the current moment instead of going through life with half of our attention on the past and the other on future. This leads to the awareness of better understanding the decisions of the actions we make and the priorities we set for ourselves.
Initially, it will be difficult to concentrate on the present with your mind juggling from one thought to another but gradually you will disengage from this rapid thought changes to a more subtle and focused thought processing. This control leads to better mental health. You feel your stress level reducing and a strong sense of calmness taking over. One simply cannot rush learning this process and the key lies in striving to control your judgment.
The journey of mindfulness meditation results in a better understanding and superior decision-making capability. The idea isn’t to get it “right,” but instead channeling all of your thoughts tightly leaving you with a better body and a peaceful mind.